The state's lowest-paid workers will see a paycheck boost in the new year as the Massachusetts minimum wage jumps from $12.75 to $13.50 per hour.

The state legislature in 2018 passed a "grand bargain" bill reconciling business and labor concerns that had the minimum wage increase step-wise from $11 until it reaches $15 in 2023.

Also in 2021, tipped employees will see their base wage go from $4.95 to $5.55, provided that their tips bring their wage to at least $13.50 per hour. If that benchmark is not met, the employer must make up the difference. The law requires employers to calculate the difference between the service rate and earned tips at the end of every shift.

Those who believe their employers are not following the law have the option of filing an online minimum wage complaint with the Attorney General's office.

On Jan. 1, workers will also be able to access new paid family and medical leave benefits that were also approved in the 2018 legislation. The benefits offer paid time off for workers to bond with a new child, care for a sick or injured service member, or deal with a serious personal health condition. Paid leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition will become available July 1.

And unless Beacon Hill takes action, employers will also see a huge increase in unemployment taxes, due in large part to a massive surge in demand for joblessness benefits during the pandemic. The trust fund that pays unemployment benefits is projected to end the year with a nearly $2.4 billion deficit. Governor Baker earlier this month filed legislation that aims to provide $1.3 billion in employment insurance relief.

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